Wimbledon 2012: Sportsmanship Still Alive At The Very Highest Level
Created: 2012-07-12 10:08 EST
As the dust settles on another enthralling Wimbledon Championships, the world's oldest tennis tournament that once again brought us so many fascinating stories - historic victories, remarkable comebacks, emotional defeats – there was another sub-plot making the headlines: the noble art of sportsmanship is still alive and well.
The story of Jonny Marray's rise to become the first British man to win a Wimbledon doubles title since 1936, is exceptional in itself. Partnering with Freddie Nielson from Denmark, the pair entered the tournament unseeded, with their previous highest competition cheque less than $800. Marray had never proceeded further than the third round of a grand-slam tournament, and saved money throughout Wimbledon fortnight by sharing a room at the National Tennis Centre. Now the doubles partners are Wimbledon champions, playing the final in front of a TV audience of 4 million, and banking $200,000 each in prize money during the process.
Jonny Marray (Photo by Angela N/Flickr)
Yet even more remarkable was the great sportsmanship displayed by Jonny Marray in the third set tie break. With the match level at one set all and 6 games each, just a few quick fire points decided the outcome of this crucial set. Yet unbeknownst to anyone else, Marray had touched the net, a technical error which if observed forfeits the point. Marray owned up to his mistake, and the umpire awarded the point to the opposing doubles pair.
In the modern era of high pressure, high reward sporting contests, such pure sportsmanship is virtually unheard of. And yet the humble and down-to-earth Yorkshireman went on to win both the set and the final, entering both the history books and legend, as Britain celebrates their first Wimbledon men's doubles champion for over 75 years.
Who said that sportsmanship is dead?!